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Life as a Premier League referee
Harlow Referees Club meeting January 2020
Topic “Looking After our Match Officials”
presented by Lee Markwick (National RA Welfare, Representation & Partnerships Lead)
In light of all the Mental Health awareness in football and the news articles on the RA
website and social media channels around Referee abuse, I thought it worthy to invite Lee Markwick
(National RA Welfare, Representation & Partnerships Lead) to deliver his presentation on “Looking
After our Match Officials”.
With a 90% attendance and a perception that ‘Welfare’ only refers to U18s, I knew this would be a
thought-provoking evening.
It was comforting to hear that the RA are there to help, support and give professional and legal
guidance when things do sometimes “go wrong” especially in relation to all types of abuse or being
charged by the FA for a breach of regulations.
Many officials are unaware they must adhere to the FAs Code of Conduct in relation to their own
behaviour. Lee gave us some great tips on the management of players during the game especially
the Caution and Dismissal process and, how not to get drawn into arguments or ‘Banter’ with
players and managers that has led to officials being charged by the FA for inappropriate behaviour
and comments.

There was also healthy debate on U18 officials getting changed in front of adults and our own
Safeguarding responsibilities. A subject many of us had never considered before and, although males
automatically give females the option to change separately we don’t ever think about U18s.
Lee also gave us an insight into the joint-work being conducted with Government Officials and the
FA to help make football an all-inclusive and safe environment for all.
The subject matter of Welfare/Mental and Physical Wellbeing was excellent and opened up some
healthy debates and discussions.
Going forward, Welfare will be a subject we as a Local Association will add as an agenda item to our
Bi-Monthly meetings, along with having our own Designated Welfare Officer as a first point of
contact for our members.
If you would like to attend our meetings (non-RA Members welcome) we meet bi-monthly during
the season on the 2nd Monday of each month at Fairways Sports & Social Club, Diamond House, The
Fairways, Parsloe Road, Harlow, Essex, CM19 4RT.
Please contact Steve Gleeson {Chairman} - – 07729 524405

Our Partnerships

Partnerships are often formed between individuals, agencies or organisations with a shared interest to address specific issues. Our evidence reveals that our members young and old often require mental, emotional, financial, medical help, support and guidance. The Referees’ Association champion the work of those agencies that provide this support in times of need. Should you require support please contact the relevant agency below or the RA Head Office.
Learn more

Join the Referees Association

The National RA recommends that prospective members should join through their local LRA, the easiest way being to attend one of the many local association meetings that take place across the country on a regular (usually monthly) basis. Find your nearest branch now.

Alternatively, online membership is now available for any referee who wishes to take up central membership. The National RA will then allocate you a local branch. Join now.